Birthdays

It is my birthday, and I am sitting on the front porch swing in my pajamas. (One of the advantages to living in the middle of nowhere.) I slept till 9:00, which is extremely late for me. It’s my first weekend home in a month. It feels good to just swing in the quiet of the morning and listen to the day heating up. There are mountains of laundry, the house is a mess, and I have a ton of things to do but birthdays are a celebration of being…not doing. That’s why I love them so. They celebrate the fact that you exist, which is something you had absolutely nothing to do with. You showed up, and that is reason enough to celebrate…not just once, but year after year. Before then, there was a hole in creation that was left empty until you arrived. You were hidden away in the secret place in the heart of God, until the appointed day. For me, this is that day. The one only he knew until I made my entrance utterly dependent on him to sustain me. He provided my parents, my shelter, my food, and my every breath. I did nothing. Yet I am celebrated. What a complete picture of grace.
I remember as a child. The days leading up to my birthday. The excitement. The planning of the party. The arrival of the cake. My friends coming with presents. So much fun…and I couldn’t wait. Butterflies in my stomach for days from the sheer anticipation. I am older now, and I must admit some of the excitement had faded, due to the fact that I am on the other side of the hill. Getting older comes with the realization that my body is older too. This year, my knee is a prime example of that fact. It seems that going up the hill was much slower than coming down. Time has speeded up hasn’t it? And I am only middle aged…how fast will it go once I enter the next phase? Not sure I want to know the answer to that question.
But I have to say, that while my body is showing the wear and tear of the years, my heart has a new outlook on birthdays since cancer. Before, I was semi-dreading my birthday each year. I joked about being an old lady, but there was truth to the fact that I felt older…body and soul. Now I see each day as a gift. Truly. It is. A day to be celebrated and lived to its fullest. A day to laugh, to celebrate, to enjoy. I do not know what the future holds for me, and cancer magnified that fact. In a way, it kind of made every day a birthday of sorts, not about the presents… but about the GIFT of life. Every day is a GIFT…every breath is a GIFT. Today, August 27th, I will use the GIFT of breath to blow out the GIFT of another candle. (And just so you know, I would totally put every one of my 48 candles on the cake if I didn’t think it would set off the smoke detector.) Cancer gave me the GIFT of 365 birthdays a year. The best part of this day is that I GET ANOTHER CANDLE TODAY!!!! How cool is that? It is certainly better than the alternative!

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One thought on “Birthdays

  1. The heart’s memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good; and thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burdens of the past, (Marquez)
    No one grows old by living– only by losing interest in
    living( M.B. RAY)

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